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Endmill getting clogged up?????

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  • Endmill getting clogged up?????

    When I try to mill Al, my end mill gets clogged up with Al very fast.

    I have tried different speeds and feeds, but to no avail.

    I am using the rule of cutting no more depth, than the cutter diameter.

    I have tried the 2 flute and 4 flute designs. The Al actually gets welded onto the bit and I have to knock it off with an punch!

    Would roughing end mills help with this, or is this just the nature of the beast.

    I must be doing something wrong, because sometimes I can only mill 1 or 2 inches before it happens.

    Do I have to use cutting fluid all the time? I have been trying to use compressed air to clean out the chips, and that works O.K., but not great.

    \"I see\" said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.

  • #2

    I find coolant helps, lots of it.

    If it does'nt fit, hit it.


    • #3
      You will want to use oil or coolant. And a 2 flute end mill.

      I would say try the speeds and feeds a bit more, or less depth.


      • #4
        Spray some WD40 on it while cutting. are brush on some kind of cutting oil. get you a 1 quart squirt bottle and mix up some coolant to spray on while cutting . just different ideas they all help.
        Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


        • #5
          Endmill getting Clogged up.

          There are a couple of things. First the type of aluminium. Some cast material is just palin crap to machine. Some of the sheet material - 6061, 7075 is much nicer to machine. Next is that your tools have to be razor sharp. If the endmill has any wear on it at all, it can rub, and pick up the aluminum.
          Having said all of that, there is a special cutting fluid called A9, that works very well, especially for tapping. An alternate simple solution is to try a bit of Varsol, or WD-40 applied by spray, squirt or brush.

          Good luck



          • #6
            Soft aluminum will gum up an end mill like crazy.
            6061T6 is harder, and not bad at all.
            And yes, lube helps a lot.
            Coolant is good, but I too like WD40.



            • #7
              As a lube, WD40 or kerosene. Kerosene is cheap and works very good. I use the highest reasonable speed I can and feed moderately. If machined dry the chips will bond to the cutter and are hard to remove plus, it seems to dull the endmill some. I think a mister would work but haven't tried it.
              Last edited by Carld; 12-28-2008, 03:47 PM.
              It's only ink and paper


              • #8
                I remember the heady smell of A9 as my dad tapped CB antenna brackets in the basement. It smells kind nice and works well. Don't know how well it works in comparison to all the other home remedies however.


                • #9
                  Aluminum Cutting Fluid

                  If you have nothing else, Kerosene does the trick. I worked for a cheap a$$ outfit that would not buy frivilous items like cutting oils or a full set of drills for the prototype shop. One cold winter day, while milling a short run of aluminum parts, I sneaked out to the fuel oil tank, took the line loose, and snitched about a quart of kerosene. Worked like a champ on the parts but the air bubble I put in the line killed the heater in the front office. All the engineers, who hated to be out in the unheated shop got chills and had to go home.
                  Jim (KB4IVH)

                  Only fools abuse their tools.


                  • #10
                    I cast a lot of aluminum parts, and I get all kinds of aluminum scrap to reuse. The stuff I like best is old engine pistons, and engine heads. They seem to machine as well as 6061 alluminum. Sometimes you find that no matter what you try to help the machining, WD-40, kerosene or whatever, the quality of the aluminum is so poor that just won't cut cleanly, and the finish will be terrible. If you are trying to machine some of this low quality stuff, all I can tell you is good luck.
                    I am not young enough to know everything


                    • #11
                      if you are cutting a channel/slot in aluminium use a blow gun to blow out chips as they happen..........back it out and blow, if they get too bad

                      take it in stages don't do the whole depth in one go.

                      cut with a smaller end mill than the finished slot size.........then graze up the sides for a perfect finish.

                      use cutting oil like rocal and squirt small quantities at the slotmill flutes with pump oil can every 20 secs or so.

                      all the best.markj


                      • #12
                        And never, ever use solid carbide.
                        Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Spin Doctor
                          And never, ever use solid carbide.


                          I use solid carbide all the time if I have right size for the job, with no issues.
                          What is your reason for not recomending ?


                          • #14
                            Blow Guns seem like a good idea until you have a problem with your mill only to find out there is a bunch of Al. chip all galled up in the ways.

                            Vacuum is the newer tech but quite pricey as the typical shop vac ain’t going to deliver the cfm needed to make a good show of it.

                            WD-40 seems like a winner too, but you need volume to wash the chips away to accomplish what you want

                            Hate to say it, but good Ol’ Flood Coolant has worked the best for me. My old Griz had the sump and pump in the base and was set up for Flood, but didn’t have the shields you find on most newer CNCs. I used to use card board, scraps of plexi-glass, what ever I could find to keep the stuff from flying all over me and the rest of the shop

                            You might as well get used to it now. Sooner or later you are going to need to cut some Cromemolly or other hardened steel and there ain’t no way your going to cut it without coolant


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Uncle O

                              I use solid carbide all the time if I have right size for the job, with no issues.
                              What is your reason for not recomending ?
                              As long as the coolant is flowing its fine, but aluminum will weld itself to carbide a lot faster than HSS. Been there, done that.
                              Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.